FAQs: Financial Assistance
When do I have to pay my fees for Swinburne Online?
You will receive a tax invoice shortly after enrolment, and your individual payment due date will be on this. But generally, all payments must be made on or before the census date (usually Friday of Week 4) for each Teaching Period however, payments made after your invoice due date may attract a late fee.
Be aware that for students who are required to make full upfront payments, or for those who have not provided their Tax File Numbers, if you do not complete payment by the census date your enrolment may be discontinued.
How do I get a Commonwealth Supported Place?
All of our undergraduate courses are eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place. The Australian Government will pay a portion of the cost of the education on the student's behalf and the student can then choose to defer their debt or pay upfront.
If the course of study for which you want to enrol is a Commonwealth Supported Place, you are eligible if you meet the following criteria
- You are an Australian citizen; or
- a New Zealand citizen who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your course of study; or
- the holder of a permanent visa for the duration of your course of studies.
What is HECS-HELP?
HECS-HELP is a loan that enables eligible students in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) to defer payment of their student contribution amounts until their income reaches a certain repayment threshold. Only Australian citizens and holders of permanent humanitarian visas are entitled to HECS-HELP assistance. Please note that Swinburne University of Technology, from 2005, requires students seeking a loan under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) to prove their eligibility and identity by producing a birth certificate, passport or Certificate of evidence of Australian citizenship at the time of enrolment or re-enrolment.
Note that NZ citizens or permanent residents not here on humanitarian grounds are NOT eligible for HECS help and must pay the student contribution amount upfront.
Students who are eligible for HECS-HELP may choose to either:
- make a full up-front payment of 90% of the student contribution amount for all of their units with the same census date and receive a 10% discount for that payment; OR
- pay part of their student contribution amounts up-front, receive a 10% HECS-HELP discount for any payments totalling $500 or more for units with the same census date, and obtain a loan for the remainder; OR
- obtain a loan for the full amount of their student contribution amounts.
All Commonwealth supported students must complete the Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form. Note that the form requires that you supply a Tax File Number. (You must supply this number to be enrolled and eligible for assistance).
For more details about the HECS-HELP loan you can visit: http://www.goingtouni.gov.au/Main/Quickfind/PayingForYourStudiesHELPLoans/HECSHELP.htm
What is the difference between HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP?
HECS-HELP loans are provided for students in Commonwealth Sponsored Places (CSPs), and generally involve the Australian Government making a contribution to the cost of your course. HECS-HELP debts incur no loan fees and you will not have to pay interests on these loans – although they are indexed each year against the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
FEE-HELP is a loan given by the Australian Government to assist students in paying all or part of their tuition fees. This type of loan generally applies to full-fee (not CSP) places, or post-graduate studies. As the majority of Swinburne Online places are Commonwealth sponsored you are more likely to use HECS-HELP. If you would like to find out more about FEE-HELP please visit: http://www.goingtouni.gov.au/Main/FeesLoansAndScholarships/Undergraduate/FullFeesAndFEE-HELP/FullFeesAndFeeHELP.htm
Are there limits to my HECS-HELP loan?
No. If you are offered a CSP and meet all the requirements for HECS-HELP there is no limit to the number of undergraduate degrees you may undertake.
What do I need to do once I get a Commonwealth Supported Place?
You must complete the request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form. This form will be sent to you as part of your offer of a Commonwealth Supported Place.
Students who are seeking HECS-HELP assistance must complete the HECS-HELP section of the form. Students are required to submit only one form for each course of study in which they enrol as a Commonwealth supported student.
When enrolling you will be allocated with a CHESSN – Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number. This number is a unique national student identifier allocated to students who receive Commonwealth assistance through a Commonwealth Supported Place. Students are allocated a CHESSN as part of the admissions process.
How much is my student contribution?
This depends on which unit you are studying. For further details of your student contribution please visit: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/studentoperations/fees/undergraduate/
How do I pay my student contribution upfront?
If you elect to pay the student contribution upfront you must pay this prior to the census date. Payment details will be sent with your Confirmation of Enrolment. Further details can be found at: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/studentoperations/fees/paying.html#paying
If payment is not received by the census date then your debt will be deferred as part of the HECS-HELP scheme.
How is my HECS HELP debt tracked?
The Australia Tax Office is able to track your HECS debt through your Tax File Number (TFN). You will be sent a Commonwealth Acceptance Notice (CAN) 28 days after census date advising you of your current HECS debt.
What are the rules around repaying HECS if I defer the payment?
HECS debt is not payable to the government until you have reached certain thresholds. For 2011/12 you must start to repay once the sum of your taxable income, reportable fringe benefits, total net investment loss and reportable super contributions are over $44,912. At this level 4% of your income is allocated to repayment of the loan, moving up to 8% if you earn more than $83,408. More details can be found in the "Information for Commonwealth Supported Students" booklet.
You must start paying your HECS debt even if you haven't completed studying if you earn more than these amounts. Your HECS loan does not attract interest but is indexed each year in line with inflation. Note that your HECS debt isn't tax deductible.
For certain degrees (mainly maths and teaching), you may be eligible for a HECS HELP benefit. See the booklet for more details.
I am an overseas student – can I study online with SOL?
At this time Swinburne Online is unable to accept enrolments from students who reside overseas. This restriction applies even if those students are Australian citizens.
T: 1300 275 794